Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Erik The Unready

Well, the time of my departure has crept up rather sneakily and far quicker than I had imagined and in a few hours time I will be heading off into the unknown (well, OK, Belgium, but still...). I've said my final farewells, an experience far more wrenching than I had expected; I've taken care of most of my personal affairs and put them in some semblance of order; and I've packed my bag for tomorrow morning (which included some very last-minute purchases as I realised I was missing some important essentials). The great thing about packing for a trip of many months is that you don't need any more stuff than when you pack for just 1 month. So I've managed to distill all the possessions I need down to 17.5kg, including the clothes I will be wearing tomorrow. So what do you need for a trip like this? Below is my final checklist:

- 1 x rucksack
- 1 x day pack
- 1 x tent
- 1 x sleeping mat (cheap polystyrene type)
- 1 x sleeping bag (3 seasons)
- 1 x sleeping bag liner
- 1 x windbreaker/rain jacket
- 1 x fleece jumper
- 3 x trousers (thick, medium and light fisherman's pants)
- 6 x T-shirts
- 6 x underwear
- 6 x socks
- 1 x thermal base layer
- 1 x walking shoes
- 1 x sandals
- 1 x toiletries
- 1 x towel
- 2 x hats (1 beenie and 1 broad-brimmed)
- 1 x headscarf
- 2 x water bottles
- 1 x walking stick
- 1 x camera and accessories (batteries, memory cards, etc.)
- 1 x hard drive (to store photographs)
- 1 x first aid kit
- 1 x random travel literature
- 1 x diary
- Sundries (knife, compass, Duck tape, torch, pens, cash, passport, etc.)

One thing I won't have to worry about though is actually getting to Belgium. I had initially planned to hitch to Dover and cross on a ferry; I had even researched the best places in London to get a ride to the coast. But on my last day at work my colleagues totally surprised me by not only getting me a Eurostar ticket, but getting a first class one. It was a lovely gesture, and one that was totally unexpected, although it does somewhat run counter to my principles of travelling on the cheap - in fact I don't think I've ever travelled first class before. Ah well, at least it will be a different experience from my last long-distance train journey.

1 comment:

Jean-Marc said...

Are you planning on sticking ducks' wings to their bodies? Why else would you need Duck tape? Oh, you mean duct tape? Aahhhhhh...